Communications and Multimedia Ministry agencies should establish tender, audit committees, says minister

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his ministry in Putrajaya June 17, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks at a press conference at his ministry in Putrajaya June 17, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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PUTRAJAYA, July 17 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah emphasised the need for all agencies under the ministry to set up tender and audit committees to ensure transparency and accountability in grant management.

Speaking at a meeting with the chairmen, board members and chief executive officers of agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) here today, he said that a legal committee should also be established depending on the suitability of the agency.

He said that apart from representatives from agencies, each committee should have representatives from the ministry and experts in related fields.

“Limits of authority must also be adhered to, for example the chairman of the board of directors cannot chair the tender or audit committee. This is the simplest example,” he said.

In terms of grant approval, he said the application criteria set should be inclusive to ensure that every segment of society is taken into account such as gender, ethnicity and minorities as well as the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

“We also need to ensure that young people are getting equal opportunities. There are times when they face many constraints that make it difficult for them to obtain grants, so we should not make it difficult for them,” he said.

On the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) involving agencies under KKMM, Saifuddin hoped that the allocation would be used as soon as possible according to the best procedures.

At the meeting, he also stressed the importance of close relationships between agencies and the ministry to ensure that there is no misunderstanding or duplication of work between agencies.

“There are times that our work overlaps, for example when we talk about the cyber security of various agencies involved such as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), CyberSecurity Malaysia and more than one division in the ministry involved as well. So we must ensure a close relationship between KKMM and agencies.

He said that the chairman and board members also needed to have a close relationship with the agency’s management to ensure efficient governance.

In the meantime, Saifuddin also hoped that all agencies under the ministry will pay attention to the KKMM Strategic Plan 2019-2029 to realise the objectives as a big family.

“The KKMM strategic plan is the strategic plan of each of the agencies under its purview,” he said.

The meeting was attended by the chairmen, board members and chief executive officers of seven agencies under KKMM, namely, the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama); MCMC, National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas); Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Malaysia Network Information Centre (MYNIC); CyberSecurity Malaysia and MyCreative Ventures.

Among those present were Bernama chairman Suhaimi Sulaiman, MCMC chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, Finas chairman Zakaria Abdul Hamid, MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri and Bernama acting chief executive officer and editor-in-chief Datuk Mokhtar Hussain. — Bernama

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